Hamza Shabbir Choudery was making an attempt to play it cool. He had casually requested his colleague Zabreen Akhtar Khan to seize a chew to eat after work one Friday within the fall of 2017.
Ms. Khan and Mr. Choudery, each 27, met in New York the yr earlier than as summer time interns at Fb, now often known as Meta. After ending school, every moved to Manhattan to hitch the corporate full time within the world gross sales division. They then grew to become pals.
They labored on the identical ground, and Mr. Choudery usually made excuses to cross by Ms. Khan’s desk. Her workplace mates seen. “Once I wasn’t round, they’d egg Hamza on, and when he wasn’t round, they’d inform me, ‘Oh my God, he actually likes you, has something occurred but?’,” Ms. Khan stated.
Their informal, after-work dinner lasted for a number of hours, with the 2 going out for dessert afterward, then chatting on the fireplace escape of Mr. Choudery’s East Village condo. “That’s the anniversary that we have fun, as a result of that’s when issues received severe for us,” Mr. Choudery stated.
Over the following few months their relationship slowly advanced. “I embarrassingly stated, ‘I’m wondering what your dad and mom will consider me,’” Mr. Choudery stated, laughing. “I had lots of religion within the relationship from the get-go.”
Ms. Khan, who’s now a associate on the enterprise capital agency Phenomenal Ventures, was born and raised in Lahore, Pakistan. She has a bachelor’s diploma in science, expertise and society from Stanford and an M.B.A. from Harvard Enterprise Faculty.
Mr. Choudery, a founding father of Autoblocks, a synthetic intelligence start-up firm, was born in Bangial, a village in Pakistan about three hours exterior Lahore. His household moved to the USA when he was 3, and he grew up on a farm in Pocomoke Metropolis, Md. He has a bachelor’s diploma in finance and data programs from College of Maryland and an M.B.A. from Stanford Graduate Faculty of Enterprise.
“There was an easy bond between us as a result of there have been lots of shared values and shared experiences,” Ms. Khan stated. “We’re each a little bit bit Pakistani, a little bit bit American.”
Each additionally like cricket. “He is aware of all of the gamers’ names, we are able to reference the identical Pakistan cricket matches that occurred 15 years in the past,” Ms. Khan stated. Mr. Choudery even joined the identical cricket league as Ms. Khan’s older brother in New York, endearing him extra to her household.
“To seek out somebody that embodied two generally very totally different identities felt actually comforting,” Ms. Khan stated.
She and Mr. Choudery formally started their relationship in early 2018, after Ms. Khan had returned from a visit to Pakistan for the winter holidays. They maintained a long-distance relationship for 2 years after they started attending graduate faculties in 2021 on reverse coasts. Although the pair had mentioned marriage earlier than, with one another and their respective households, their separation cemented their certainty about one another. “These two years aside, it felt like my limb was lacking,” Ms. Khan stated.
Mr. Choudery proposed to Ms. Khan in July 2022. In a deliberate daylong scavenger hunt, he wrote be aware playing cards with rhyming couplets, every a clue to a special spot within the metropolis that held that means for them. The locations included 770 Broadway, which was the location of the workplace the place they’d met.
Later that day, in a small courtyard behind the Gramercy condo the place Ms. Khan lived, Mr. Choudery received down on one knee and proposed with a spherical diamond solitaire. Surrounded by a cellist and bouquets of flowers, he learn a speech he had scrawled on a crumpled piece of paper.
The couple celebrated with a dinner at Gramercy Tavern, however not earlier than stopping by Ms. Khan’s previous condo foyer, the place her former doorman waited with flowers and a hug. Within the early days of their relationship, the doorman gave Mr. Choudery pep talks as he waited for Ms. Khan, and he watched their bond develop through the years.
The 2 have been legally married in Ms. Khan’s childhood residence in Lahore on July 5. An Islamic nikkah ceremony was officiated by Maulana Syed Abdul Khabir Azad, the imam from Badshahi Mosque.
The marriage celebrations befell over 4 days, and the couple integrated American touches, together with toasts from their siblings and pals, and exchanging vows.
A big wedding ceremony reception was held July 8 at Pearl Continental Resort in Lahore, with 650 company in attendance. Ms. Khan wore a vivid crimson lehenga choli, whereas Mr. Choudery donned a white sherwani with a pagri on his head.
One other spotlight of the celebration was a mango-themed backyard occasion at Ms. Khan’s household property. Company wore shades of yellow and orange, Punjabi music performed, and the menu included mango kulfi, a frozen dessert, and mango lassi, a yogurt drink.
Underneath the shade of the mango timber, her mom taught a few of her American pals tips on how to eat the fruit, not by slicing it up, however chopping the highest open and savoring the juice.